Boardwalks were destroyed. Homes were toppled. Amusement-park rides collapsed into the ocean. New Jersey was hit hard by last fall's Hurricane Sandy, which caused billions in damages to the area's popular shore towns. Despite the devastation wreaked by Sandy, the Jersey Shore is, in the words of Chris Christie, "open for business."
But things aren't completely back to normal. Some shore towns are still struggling to rebuild, and some businesses remain closed. But that doesn't mean you should rule out a visit. You just need to know where to go (the vast majority of area beaches are open)—and how to help. New Jersey's shore communities need your support. And, of course, you need a relaxing beach getaway featuring saltwater taffy, Ferris wheels, and ocean waves. It's a win-win.
What's Open, What's Closed
In general, southern New Jersey beach towns were less affected by the storm than northern ones. Still, most beaches and businesses are open and ready for the summer. Find a list of open beaches on the official New Jersey Tourism Board website. Here's the scoop on a few popular towns in particular:
- Asbury Park: This town was mostly spared. But select businesses remain closed due to the storm. USA Today reports that there's "still no place to get pizza on the boardwalk."
- Seaside Heights: Did you see that image of a roller coaster submerged in the ocean when Sandy hit? Seaside Heights is where that happened. (It's also the town where "The Jersey Shore" was filmed.) Its beaches are open, but Seaside Heights is still somewhat in recovery mode; you'll likely see damage from the storm.
- Cape May: Since Cape May is in the very southern tip of New Jersey, the charming Victorian community doesn't have as much damage as some of the northern towns. If you go, you probably won't notice anything different.
- Atlantic City: "America's Favorite Playground" was affected by Sandy, but the casinos and boardwalk are open. According to reports, though, tourism to A.C. has declined significantly since the storm hit.
- Sea Isle City: Sea Isle City was mostly spared. The town even put up a billboard near the Lincoln Tunnel encouraging New Yorkers to visit.
What You Can Do to Help
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(Photo: nosha via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)